Onuaku has fans on Team USA

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. - Louisville sophomore Chinanu Onuaku not only won a gold medal with the U.S. U-19 World Championship team last weekend but he gained some admirers from his team. Jayson Tatum, one of the top players in the Class of 2016, lauded the play of the U of L center at the Nike Peach Jam.

Jayson Tatum is one of the top players in the Class of 2016 and helped the USA Basketball U-19 World Championship team win a gold medal last weekend in Greece.

One of his teammates was Louisville center Chinanu Onuaku, a player Tatum said he didn't know a lot about going into the tryouts but earned "a great deal of respect" for during the event.

"Nanu is good," Tatum said. "Especially in the semifinals and the championship, he stepped up big for us and helped us win the medal. He's going to be really good for Louisville this season."

Tatum said Onuaku surprised him on the defensive end.

"He's so good on defense and his feet are so quick," Tatum said. "He gets a lot of blocked shots and rebounds. He's just a very powerful guy and is a good player."

Tatum joked that "everybody loves when get gets fouled," because Onuaku is now shooting his free throws "granny style."

Onuaku led the American team with 12 blocked shots in seven games. He also added 4.6 points and 5.2 rebounds a game and shot 72.2 percent in seven games. He started six of the seven games.

In the title game, Onuaku had a key blocked shot for the U.S. team.

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